Of the Milwaukee Brewers many offseason decisions, one will be whether or not to bring back Zach Davies for the 2020 season.
It is going to be a busy offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers as they look to maximize their World Series window, and one of those decisions includes deciding whether or not to tender a contract to starting pitcher Zach Davies. Last year Davies made $2.6 million but according to MLB Trade Rumors, he is projected to make $5 million through arbitration in 2020.
While a few weeks ago the Brewers decided not to pick up Chase Anderson’s team option and traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays instead, bringing back Davies should be on GM David Stearns’ offseason to-do list. After injuries and poor performances in 2018, Davies was able to bounce-back in 2019 and was one of – if not the most – consistent pitcher on this Milwaukee Brewers team.
In 31 starts that covered 159.2 innings – which led the entire Brewers team – Davies finished with a 3.55 ERA, an ERA+ of 125, a new career high, and an fWAR of 1.6. He would start the season incredibly well, recording a 2.79 ERA through his first 20 starts. However, Davies would run into some trouble from mid-July through August that included an IL stint and a 7.76 ERA during that span. But to his credit he would recover with a 2.31 ERA in September that helped Milwaukee make their playoff push.
While 2019 was a very positive season for Davies overall, there are still some concerns as well. For one his FIP of 4.56 was a full point higher than his ERA, showing that he had some good fortune last season. Meanwhile, his K/9 was a career low of 5.7, while his BB/9 of 2.87 was a career high. Not to mention that Davies ground ball percentage dropped over seven percent – from 47.5 percent to 40.1 percent – and that coupled with him not being a hard thrower was a contributor to why he gave up a career high in HR/9 with 1.13.
With all of that said, Zach Davies has been a steady presence in the Brewers’ rotation the last few seasons and with so much uncertainty surrounding the 2020 starting rotation – not including Brandon Woodruff – it’s hard to envision that he isn’t back in Milwaukee next year.
All stats via Baseball Reference and Fangraphs